Halloween is a fun time of year filled with costumes, parties and sweet treats. But, sometimes parents worry that all those sugary treats can lead to cavities and poor dental health. The good news: It’s not what children eat, but how often, and candy can be OK if children and parents are conscientious.
No food is really bad for children’s teeth who do not snack often, said Dr. Warren Brill, president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. In fact, many parents may not realize that children’s dental health depends less on what they eat and more on how often they eat it.
Here are some suggestions to keep little mouths healthy this Halloween:
Snack in moderation, no more than three times a day.
A food with sugar or starch is safer for teeth if it is eaten with a meal, not as a snack.
Tooth brushing should be performed twice daily. The best times to brush are after breakfast and before bed. Parents should supervise the brushing for school-age children until they are 7 or 8 years old.
The best toothbrushes have soft, round-ended (polished) bristles that clean while being gentle on the gums. The handle should be the correct size to fit your child’s hand.